U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $35 Million Grant for Bus Rapid Transit Project in Raleigh
President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law makes historic investments to support better, more reliable transit service
WASHINGTON –The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced a $35 million construction grant award to the City of Raleigh, North Carolina, for its new bus rapid transit (BRT) line along the New Bern Avenue corridor. The first piece of an ambitious transit expansion program, the BRT line will connect people who want to travel between downtown Raleigh to its eastern neighborhoods with a faster, more efficient transit option.
"Across the country, we're seeing innovative transit projects connect people to where they need to go quickly and conveniently – while reducing congestion and pollution for the entire community," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. "Through funds provided by President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we're proud to help deliver the Wake Bus Rapid Transit project along New Bern Avenue so Raleigh residents can reach their jobs, schools, loved ones, and everything else that matters most in their lives."
To reduce travel times and get Raleigh bus riders where they need to go faster, buses will travel for 3.3 miles in exclusive lanes and receive traffic signal priority. The BRT system will feature new electric battery-powered or compressed natural gas buses and easy fare payment that will be handled before boarding, ensuring quicker stops. The New Bern BRT will shave 10 minutes off a trip from downtown to New Hope compared to taking the conventional bus.
FTA is providing $35 million to the 5.4-mile Wake BRT New Bern Avenue project, which is estimated to cost a total of $96.7 million. The federal funding comes from FTA's Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program, which helps communities carry out transformational transit projects. The program received significant funding thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – with the potential to double funding over the next five years to $23 billion – to help meet growing demand for federal transit support across the country.
"We are pleased to support the Wake Bus Rapid Transit New Bern Avenue project, which will improve transit connections in the downtown Raleigh Central Business District, including to some of the major healthcare centers in the region, and beyond," said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. "Residents will have an affordable, climate-friendly travel alternative to avoid traffic and reach destinations all over the region."
The project improves access for low-income residents, older adults, and underserved populations to major employers and medical facilities in the corridor including the WakeMed Raleigh campus, Duke Children's Specialty Services of Raleigh, and St. Augustine’s University – all of which will have stops on the new BRT line.
Projects accepted into the CIG program must go through a multi-year, multi-step process according to requirements in law to be eligible for consideration to receive federal funds.